Monday, 10 March 2014


Tea and cake on the balcony anyone?

The car seems to be falling to pieces, the windscreen is done, but we’ve lost half the front number plate, which in conjunction with the ABS light which has been on for a while made us stop at the garage next to the supermarket. (B had told me that although the ABS light was on it still worked, until it didn’t, and I noticed!) The garage man said he could do nothing for a new UK numberplate, but after charging us 36 Euro to look at the ABS he’d send us a quote! Fortunately we are back in the UK this w/end for Phil (B’s old climbing partner, and the reason why we met)’s 60th birthday so we can get a new numberplate, we’ll worry about attaching it once we get back, and due to the power of the ex-pats email group, we’ve had two recommendations for ‘Andy Smith’ and an email from the man himself! We’ll see him on Thursday and see what he has to say, as “Mr Carrefour” has quoted over 1000 euro for the ABS and suspension and goodness knows what else!

'The crag' in St Jean. Not a bad location!
In the meantime, the sun has shone, the snow has melted, and frozen and melted, so depending on when you hit a slope it may be sheet ice, or slush that grabs at your skis and slows you down, neither of which are ideal, though there is a comfortable medium in between if you get the timing right! We went out on Saturday as Saturday skiing is the bees knees, only to find it wasn’t – I can only assume that because the weather forecast was so fab we got the equivalent of Geneva’s ramblers come out for the day, rather than the hardened elite we’ve been used to! It wasn’t too bad, but people did keep getting in the way! 
The crag in St Jean
Because we hate Sunday skiing anyway we’d already decided to go climbing for the day which was lovely. Our local crag, about 5 mins away, has about 95 climbs, 80% of which are within our grade (which may have fallen slightly as we’ve not been climbing like we used to!) Had a great day, finally having to leave as it was too hot! We’d missed a text from Carole (we had a slightly late start as there was no point in being at the crag too early as it would be in shade) asking if we wanted to ski. We put her off till today and had a lovely morning, finally meeting her Olympian son Ben (came 8th in the Olympic moguls, don’t you know?) and doing a couple of runs with him too.

Preparing for a climb

Jackie showing how it's done

Are we really in a ski resort?
This is the crag in St Jean. On this face are two 'Via Ferratas'

And here's the notice board that told us all about them. Can't wait to do them, but they are long and scary!
Back to the snow and here we are with Olympian Ben.
We’ve popped up the hill to the highest apartment block in St Jean where a very kind man has printed out our boarding passes for our weekend trip (again the power of the ex-pats email group), and met his very friendly cat, sat on the balcony drinking tea (and beer, and vin chaud, though not all on the same day) in the sunshine and worried about the snow! It’s bizarre to think that it snowed and we played in the powder last Thursday, Friday and Saturday and we would have encouraged anyone to visit, but since then the sun and temperature have been up and we are now worried about the rest of our season!

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